Off to begin our adventures among the books and authors!
(l – r: Mark from Random Ramblings from Sunny Southern CA, Danielle of There’s a Book, Trish from Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’?, Amy/My Friend Amy, yours truly, Jill/Softdrink of Fizzy Thoughts, Lisa from Books on the Brain with her older daughter, and Ti from Book Chatter)
Books: A Memoir, by Larry McMurtry (it’s been years since I read any McMurtry, but how could I NOT buy this?)
Not Now, Voyager, by Lynne Sharon Schwartz (a travel memoir)
I’m With the Band: Confessions of a Groupie, by Pamela Des Barres (a minor classic of the celebrity-tell-all genre that I’ve wanted to read for years, although I suspect the sleaze factor is quite high)
My second panel was also a fiction discussion, “Forging Ahead.” This was the “smart, funny women” panel, and all of their books shared the theme of lives in transition. I own books by every member of this panel – The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister, Getting In by Karen Stabiner, and Going in Circles by Pamela Ribon – but haven’t read any of them yet. The last of these writers was the big draw for me; now a novelist and screenwriter, I’ve been reading her since she was a recapper for Television Without Pity earlier in the decade, and she’s been blogging at pamie.com since “blogs” were “online diaries.” Her newest novel is an autobiographically-inspired story of divorce and roller derby, and she wrote in my copy that I had “the prettiest name (she’d) ever written here. You win!” (And you could win too, in a contest that could bring Pamie and roller derby to your book club!)
I went to my final panel of the day with Amy, a memoir discussion whose topic, “Keeping the Faith,” is one of great interest to us both. The room was packed, so clearly we’re not the only ones intrigued by the subject, and the panelists were an interesting group who came to the the question of faith from a variety of directions. I was most looking forward to hearing and meeting Hope Edelman, since her book The Possibility of Everything was the only one I’ve read already, but I want to read the books of every member of this panel: Devotion by Dani Shapiro, Losing My Religion by William Lobdell (a former religion writer for the LA Times), and Faith, Interrupted: A Spiritual Journey, by Eric Lax. The conversation was fascinating and could have easily gone on far longer. In the signing area after the panel, Hope noticed that the copy of The Possibility of Everything I asked her to sign was an ARC, and I explained about being a book blogger who had also participated in the Silicon Valley Moms Group book club for the memoir. She informed me that none of the mommy-blogger heat she’s taken for the book came out of that group, which was rather reassuring. (If you read the book, and you know something about mommy blogs, you will not be too surprised that some have reacted rather fiercely.)
The book bloggers re-convened around 5 PM on the steps of the Student Union building, now joined by Leah from Amused by Books and Thea of The Book Smugglers, and headed to nearby Jerry’s Deli for dinner, recaps of the day, and other bookish conversation.
(around the table, l – r: Mark, me, Thea, Lisa, Danielle and her husband Alan, Leah, Amy, Jill, Ti)
I didn’t go back to the Festival on Sunday, but I’m sure it was just as much fun. The weather was gorgeous, the books were plentiful, and the company was excellent. I can’t wait to do it all again next year!